Day 16 (Dec 12) The Second Coming of Christ & The Aggravations of Hell (Advent Meditation)
The Second Coming of Christ
1. When the apostles on Mount Olivet were gazing after their Master, Who had just ascended into heaven, two angels stood by them and announced to them that He Who had just vanished from their sight would return in like manner. Our Lord Himself had already declared that He would come again with power and great glory and would sit upon the throne of His glory. At the sound of His approach the dead will rise from their graves to meet Him, and the nations of the world who have not accepted His way will be filled with unspeakable terror and dismay. What will be the dispositions with which I shall rise again to meet Christ? What would they be now if He were to come today?
2. The object of His coming will be to judge the living and the dead. All that is now hidden will be made manifest before the world. All the secret thoughts and whispered words, and actions concealed from the eyes of men, will then be made manifest. How should I like to have all my base and low motives dragged to light, all my unkind words revealed to those against whom they were spoken, all those actions, of which I cannot myself think without shame, proclaimed so that all may behold them?
3. Our Lord will come, radiant in majesty and glory, to crush His enemies under His feet and reward His faithful soldiers and servants. How great then will be the ignominy and shame of the mighty men of earth, if they have not bowed their neck to the King of kings! How full of joy will be the hearts of all who have humbled themselves before Him! How will they be beautiful beyond compare, and honored before His holy angels! Learn now to humble yourself under the yoke of Christ.
The Aggravations of Hell
Here will I dwell, for I have chosen it. (Ps. cxxxi.14.)
Every thought of the lost will aggravate, not alleviate, their sufferings. Let us review one or two of the thoughts that will be ever present to their minds.
1. They might so easily have been saved! One act of contrition at the last, one grace accepted out of the countless graces that were deliberately set at naught, and they might have been with the angels in heaven instead of with the devils in hell. To know that we have just missed some advantage that we might with a little trouble have secured for ourselves is always a tormenting thought. How much more when it is heaven that is lost!
2. If the advantage is lost purely through our own fault, this greatly increases our misery. We fools! We had so many chances, we knew so well that we were forfeiting our eternal inheritance! It is this that changes sorrow into remorse, and adds to suffering the horror and blackness of despair. All through our own fault! What a thought to dwell with me through all eternity!
3. What is it that we have lost? That will be the bitterest thought of all. We have lost the sweet music of heaven, we have lost the company of the saints and angels, we have lost the enchanting happiness of gazing on the Sacred Humanity of Jesus in all its glory, and, above all, we have lost the unspeakable joy of the beatific vision. We fools!
Pray God that the dread of this thought hereafter may keep you from sin.
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